• Germany's news in English

Left party MP backs off wikipedia.de ban

The Local · 17 Nov 2008, 12:45

Published: 17 Nov 2008 12:45 GMT+01:00

The reference site, which featured an entry on Heilmann that he apparently found offensive, remained blocked on Monday morning, though. “Mr. Heilmann has said he would like to retract his temporary injunction,” said an online statement from Wikimedia eV, which runs the German version of the open encyclopaedia. “As soon as the decision is reversed, we will reinstate our search option.”

The site was unlocked at 12:30 pm on Monday and the entry on Heilmann edited "at least a hundred times," Wikimedia Deutschland Sebastian Moleski told news agency DDP.

Wikimedia’s lawyer Thorsten Feldmann, told Spiegel Online that the passages largely concern four claims about Heilmann’s professional and political development.

Heilmann, 42, was a member of East Germany's communist party, the SED, and after reunification, joined its successor party, the PDS. In September 2005 he became an MP for the Left party, representing the state of Schleswig-Holstein. Shortly afterwards the German media exposed his past relationship with the feared East German secret police, the Stasi, which he later admitted to concealing.

The site, which asked users to access its content via de.wikipedia.org during the temporary court order for what Heilmann called “false and slanderous” content, could have been blocked for to four weeks by the Lübeck court injunction, daily Berliner Morgenpost reported on Monday.

Story continues below…

After the site was blocked, organizers received €16,000 in donations on Saturday, a record well above the average of €3,000 per day, the paper said. Wikipedia thanked users in an online statement for their “overwhelming support.” Heilmann was widely pilloried for his suit against the popular online reference work.

Even the leftist paper Neue Deutschland criticized Heilmann’s actions. “That there were doubtful and false entries is obvious,” the paper said. “Usually the internet group takes care of corrections. Whoever tries to change this democratic self-correction of such a medium, through even a temporary block, is on the path of censorship.”

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Today's headlines
Pegida take to Dresden streets - to march against Pegida
Pegida demonstrators. Photo: DPA

Followers of the xenophobic Pegida movement marched in two factions on Monday evening in the capital of Saxony, brandishing fierce accusations of treason against one another.

Is it fair to call the AfD far right?
AfD leaders, from left, Georg Pazderski, Frauke Petry and Jörg Meuthen. Photo: DPA.

The AfD has been dubbed "far-right" over the past year as it has taken on a tougher stance against immigration and made gains in state elections. But at what point does one call a group far-right?

Dresden police guard Islamic buildings after mosque attack
The Dresden mosque that was hit by a homemade bomb attack on Monday. Photo: DPA.

All Islamic buildings in the capital of Saxony have been put under police protection on Tuesday after explosive devices were detonated at a mosque and a congress centre in the city.

Germany blocks WhatsApp data transfers to Facebook
Photo: DPA

German data protection authorities on Tuesday said they had blocked Facebook from collecting subscriber data from its subsidiary WhatsApp, citing privacy concerns.

Stuttgart fest pulls in twice as many boozers as Oktoberfest
Is this Oktoberfest or is this Stuttgart's Cannstatter Volksfest? Can you tell the difference? Well, it's Stuttgart. Photo: DPA.

Apparently Munich is no longer the top place to wear lederhosen and down beer one litre at a time.

The Local List
10 German films you have to watch before you die
Photo: DPA

These films are so good, not even The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari made the list.

Young man destroys 17 cars after visiting Oktoberfest

Early on Monday morning a drunk 29-year-old trashed 17 cars after staggering out of Oktoberfest into the Munich streets. It was one of several eye-popping crimes from "Wiesn" over the past few days.

VW emissions scandal
Audi tech chief leaves after reports link him to 'dieselgate'
Audi's head of technical development Stefan Knirsch stepped down on Monday. Photo: DPA.

Audi's head of technical development stepped down "with immediate effect" on Monday, the luxury carmaker announced, after German media accused him of involvement in parent company Volkswagen's "dieselgate" scandal.

Deutsche Bank shares hit lowest level in quarter century
Photo: DPA.

Shares in Deutsche Bank, Germany's biggest lender, sank to a historic low on Monday after reports at the weekend that Berlin had refused state aid for the embattled lender.

The Local List
The 10 worst German cities for students to find digs
Photo: DPA

It's the start of autumn, which means the start of the university year. But along with the excitement comes the stress of finding housing - and in some glamorous locations this can be a nightmare.

Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
Seven great reasons to stay in Germany this September
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd